A triumph of design and function from Capcom
FUNNILY enough, the most jarring thing about Resident Evil 7: Biohazard isn’t the all-new first-person camera, but the subtle and refined presentation of the game as a whole. The convoluted mythology, absurd melodrama and ham-fisted action sequences of the most recent Resident Evil releases have all taken a step back, leaving space for an evocative, slow-burning and delightfully terrifying game to come to the fore.
Resident Evil 7 stars Ethan Winters, a man whose incessant quest for his missing wife leads him to a sleepy, grim bayou in Louisiana . Once there, Ethan finds himself kidnapped and tortured by a family of murderous cannibals known as the Bakers. Both in the specifics and general tone of its seemingly stand-alone story, much of Resident Evil 7 is a departure from the zombie outbreak roots of the series at large.
Just like the original Resident Evil, Biohazard’s gameplay is largely centered in and around the Baker residence - a single large house. The vast majority of the game’s 10 to 12 hour run time is devoted to becoming intimately familiar with every nook and cranny the house has to offer. If you wish stand any chance of survival and peace of mind in this violent and eerie world, then you will have to scour every corner of the house for resources, as well as memorising secret passageways and working out which doors you can hide behind.
These last two points are particularly notable, because not since I last played Amnesia: The Dark Descent (the most blood-curdling- ly terrifying game I have ever experienced) have I felt so scared and helpless in a virtual world. This feeling is only compounded by the fact that Ethan is not a muscle-bound killing machine, but simply a regular guy with no combat experience whatsoever.
Because of this, the best option is often to run and we all know that the only thing more terrifying than staring down impending doom is having it snatching at your coat tails.
Of course, being a Resident Evil game, combat is also an option, though maybe not quite as viable a one as in previous releases. While an overly slow camera sensitivity might be a compaint for most shooters, the combination of that and the first-person view only serves to ramp up the tension to jaw-clenching levels.
Going solely on the calibur of previous Resident Evil titles, if Resident Evil 7 had been half the game it is I would have been pleasantly surprised. As it stands, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is an absolute triumph of design and function from Capcom.
In Resident Evil 7: Biohazard , gone are the convoluted mythology, absurd melodrama and ham-fisted action sequences of the most recent Resident Evil releases, leaving space for an evocative, slowburning and delightfully terrifying game to come to the fore.